In Memoriam: Philippe Charriol, Celebrated Race Car Driver Turned Jeweler
Marseille, France—Philippe Charriol, founder of the Charriol brand of luxury goods, died last week of injuries sustained in a crash during a automobile race at the Le Castellet racing track, France’s Grand Prix course. He was 77. Image at left: Singapore Times
Charriol was famous for his love of racing, and it infused everything he did. Off the track, he began his career in luxury jewelry and watches at Cartier, where he held various positions before rising to brand manager of the Asian market.
He founded his eponymous brand in Geneva in the early 1980s, basing his jewelry and watches around a stainless steel nautical cable theme. San Diego, CA-based A’lor was the first American licensee of the Charriol brand, but the companies acrimoniously parted ways in 2013, resulting in lengthy court battles over intellectual property.
Charriol is survived by wife, Marie-Olga Charriol, the brand’s PR director; his children, Coralie Charriol Paul, Charriol’s creative director; Alexandre Charriol, the brand’s visual director; and Laetitia Charriol, a student.
Left, the San Tropez women's watch and Christopher Columbus men's watch by Charriol. Below, the founder with one of his beloved race cars in the Charriol brand's signature purple.
DPA Launches Diamond Verification Instrument Testing Program
New York, NY—The ASSURE program, a collaboration between the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and Signet Jewelers, has published the results of its independent performance tests of diamond verification instruments. The goal of the program is to help members of the trade obtain objective third-party verified information about diamond testing instruments that identify natural vs. lab-grown diamonds.
The ASSURE program partnered with the 11 manufacturers who make the 18 most widely available diamond verification instruments in the market. The instruments submitted were tested in accordance with the methods and protocols in the Diamond Verification Instruments Standard, developed in collaboration with renowned independent third-party test agency Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and a technical committee consisting of leading scientists and academics from major gemological organizations, including GIA, GII, IIDGR, NGTC, SSEF, TISNCM and WTOCD.
The instruments were tested with a deliberately challenging sample (including natural diamonds, laboratory-grown diamonds and, if applicable, diamond simulants). The tests were designed to provide an indication of the relative performance of each of the instruments. The first round of testing took place at UL’s laboratories in Canton, MA, and the results will continuously be made available in the ASSURE Directory in the coming weeks. The ASSURE Directory will be regularly updated as new instruments are submitted for testing or re-testing, and the set of stones included in the sample will evolve continuously to include new synthetics diamonds as they are identified.
Test results will be listed in the ASSURE Directory on diamondproducers.com/ASSURE.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the Diamond Producers Association, said “Trade participants have a shared responsibility to disclose the nature of the product they are selling to protect the end consumer. Through the ASSURE Program we will support the diamond trade from independent jewelry retailers to large diamond manufacturers to make informed decisions on how to ensure that undisclosed laboratory grown diamonds do not enter their natural diamond supply chain.”
Andrew Bone, executive director of the Responsible Jewellery Council, added, “We welcome this initiative to support the spread of effective diamond verification practices across the pipeline. We will continue to support the DPA and the ASSURE Program in their efforts to enhance consumer confidence in the jewelry industry.”
David Bouffard, vice president of corporate affairs for Signet Jewelers Ltd. Said, “The ASSURE Program has already proven valuable for companies in our supply chain who operate at a global scale. We look forward to all of our suppliers implementing ASSURE Certified technology to help protect the integrity of the global jewelry supply chain.”
JA To Launch National Convention This Summer; Focus Is Education
New York, NY – Jewelers of America (JA) announces the agenda for the first annual Jewelers of America National Convention, an education-focused executive forum open to jewelry professionals. The Convention will take place July 28-29, 2019, at the Intercontinental New York Barclay in New York City. Registration for the event is now open online.
The two-day convention will feature data-driven keynote presentations and a wide range of compelling breakout sessions that address the pressing issues shaping the jewelry industry, from lab-grown diamonds to omnichannel marketing, retail design and supply chain regulations. Attendees can get hands-on with retail technology in the Retail Innovation and Diamond Detection Labs, while there will also be multiple networking opportunities and social activities.
The Convention kicks off July Jewelry Week in New York, which also will feature the annual Women’s Jewelry Association Awards for Excellence dinner on July 29 and the American Gem Society’s Circle of Distinction gala on July 30. Discounted tickets to both events are available at Convention registration.
The Convention agenda includes:
Election Outlook 2020, presented by Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report, a political analyst for the National Journal Group, and an analyst for NBC News. He will offer his expert take on the turbulent election season to come with control of both the White House and Congress at stake.
Key Investment Trends to Watch, presented by Michael Vaknin, chief markets economist for J.P. Morgan Private Bank. The economy--both globally and domestically—is a major influencer on consumer mood and spending. Vaknin will share key investment themes to watch and potential short and long-term impacts on the overall health of the retail sector, based on the most current macroeconomic outlook.
Buying Trends & Value Propositions, presented by Neeraj Mehta, CEP of Synchrony’s Payment Solutions. Mehta will discuss the jewelry path-to-purchase journey and how to leverage both technology and digital assets to improve customer experience. Discover the trends in consumer purchasing behavior across channels as jewelry customers are buying differently and retail is changing.
There also will be 12 breakout sessions: Understanding the Empowered Consumer; Solving the Challenge of Lab-Grown Diamond Detection; Enhance the Customer Experience; Policy & Retail: Why What Happens in D.C. Matters; Omni-channel Marketing: Deliver Your Brand Message Where Your Customers Shop; Social Media: Turning ‘Likes’ into Brand Love; Breaking Down Blockchain’s Potential for Jewelers; The Customer Mindset: Connecting for Lifetime Loyalty; Responsible Sourcing in the Jewelry Supply Chain; and Distrupting the Marketplace: Opportunities & Challenges of Selling Lab-Grown Diamonds.
Additional programing will be announced soon. Registration is open to both JA Members and non-members, with members receiving preferred pricing. Register by April 30 for $200 off the regular registration rate. Convention attendees receive a special room rate at the Convention venue, InterContinental New York Barclay. To learn more about the Jewelers of America National Convention, secure sponsorships or register to attend, visit www.jewelers.org/convention.
Kimberley Process Must Correct Shortfalls; Address Artisanal Mining And Sustainability
New York, NY—World Diamond Council president Stephane Fischler last week told the United Nations General Assembly's 73rd Session that the Kimberley Process, designed to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the chain of distribution, still has shortfalls that must be corrected. Fischler addressed the KP as both a conflict prevention tool and a facilitator of sustainable development, good governance and transparency.
Fischler noted that while the UN-mandated Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, launched in 2003, has proven itself successful in stemming the flow of diamonds financing rebel forces in civil wars, it has not been successful in addressing other types of mineral-related conflict, particularly systemic violence in mining areas. Since much of that violence has occurred in places where small-scale and artisanal mining is conducted, the KP has not met its potential as a facilitator of capacity building and sustainable economic development.
However, by adopting urgently-required reforms during its current review process, the KP has the capacity to correct its limitations. These include: improving the peer review mechanism; raising the level of representation and participation in the body, both by governments and the United Nations; improving the gathering and flow of essential data; and creating a permanent secretariat staffed by full-time professionals.
Critically, the Kimberley Process must expand the definition of "conflict diamonds" to cover all forms of systemic violence, including those carried out by state and private security forces. A proposal to this effect was put forward by the Government of Canada at last November's KP Plenary Meeting in Brussels, and was supported by both the industry and civil society participants in the tripartite forum. Fischler will call on the KP to achieve consensus on the issue before the end of the year.
Fischler told the UN the World Diamond Council is already conducting reforms of its own on an industry level to enact the type of progress it is advocating for the KP. These include a revised System of Warranties tracking both rough and polished diamonds all the way to the jewelry retailer, that now expressly references human rights and strict labor practices, and also supporting the OECD Due Diligence Guidelines for Minerals from High-Risk Areas.
The World Diamond Council welcomed the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) calling for the strengthening of the Kimberley Process (KP). The resolution, proposed by the European Union (EU), was ratified by consensus by the members of the 193-member UNGA body.
"We are most heartened by the adoption of the resolution by the UNGA, not only because it echoes the call for reform that we advocated together with civil society at the most recent KP Plenary Meeting in Brussels, but also because it was passed with the support of all United Nations member countries, including those in whose territories diamonds are mined, processed, traded, and sold in jewelry," said Fischler. "We strongly hope this across-the-board commitment to the continuous improvement in the integrity of the global rough diamond supply chain by all these nations will be repeated in the Kimberley Process forum over the course of this year."
Fischler emphasized the link between the conflict-prevention role of the Kimberley Process and the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. "It underscored our deeply-held belief that the KP's role is not only defensive, but it is also proactive, in that it is a catalyst for creating societies with sustainable economic opportunities, where benefits are shared by all stakeholders, regardless of race or gender. The industrialized diamond mining sector, which produces 85 percent of rough diamonds in terms of volume and 95 percent in terms of value, already invests hundreds of millions of dollars per annum, both directly and indirectly, in the development of economies and communities in the countries in which it is active. By eliminating the destabilizing factors that inherently exist in places plagued by systemic violence, a strengthened Kimberley Process will be a critical element in ensuring that similar contributions can take place in countries where artisanal mining is dominant. The diamond industry's capacity to serve as a nation builder must come to be considered an integral part of the diamond's value proposition," Fischler said.
WDC President Stephane Fischler (right) and WDC Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda (second from right) during the special EU-organized meeting examining the Kimberley Process, held on February 28, 2019, the day before the conflict diamond session of the UN General Assembly.
To download Fischler’s full speech, click here.
Belgian Diamond Dealer Dies During Penis Enlargement Surgery
Paris, France--Ehud Arieh Laniado, a Belgian diamond dealer reportedly worth billions, died Saturday from complications arising during surgery to enlarge his penis. According to reports, Laniado suffered a heart attack during the procedure, being performed at a private clinic on the Champs Elysees in Paris. He was 65.
His company, Omega Diamonds of Antwerp, Belgium, confirmed the death of its founder to the Daily Mail. A friend told the paper that Laniado was always focused on his appearance and how he was perceived by others. He also reportedly asked to have his bank statements read to him multiple times daily.